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17 reviews in total 
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Total Loss (2000)
3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
An OK movie, 19 October 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Ignore the other comment that implies this is the worst Dutch film ever.

Far from it. This movie has a nice storyline and some great special effects. A couple, two guys who are lovers, have become a bit distant. It's like any relationship that has been going on for too long. One day, a tramp is found by one of the guys and brought into their house. This guy seems to develop a Florence Nightingale complex when he takes utmost care of the stranger. His friend, a medical student/doctor watches helplessly as his friend is still in love with him.

As the stranger regains the use of all his senses, it becomes clear the man was suicidal and tried to take his own life before he was found.

It's no spoiler to say the movie ends with a big car crash as it started in the first place with the same crash. All I can say is this is one of the best special effects or visual effects scene I have seen so far in Dutch films. Excellent slo-mo effects as the car spins out of control at high speed, sending its occupants to a painful but relatively quick end.

Needed a bigger budget obviously because most of the money went into the crash sequence, which is therefore excellent: that scene can easily compete with Hollywood action sequences.

Yorick van Wageningen, the actor who plays the guy taking care of the tramp, was noticed by Steven Spielberg when Spielberg watched this movie. It seems Mr. Spielberg has a special interest in Dutch films because in the late 70s he also saw Paul Verhoeven's "Soldaat van Oranje" (Soldier of Orange/Survival Run).

It's an okay movie that would have been better with a bigger budget but when it's showing on television you can do worse watching it.

3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
NASA Moon Mission Hoax Shock Horror!, 31 May 2006

It's rather sad that after all these years, people still believe 'we' actually went to the Moon.

I for one do not believe we did or didn't. I just think it very plausible that mankind never achieved a successful moon landing because all of the evidence is coming from just one source: NASA.

Astronauts, video-footage, 'moonrocks:' all courtesy of NASA film productions. Add to these ingredients the fact that no other nation or private company has ever been able to duplicate NASA's incredible feat even though the alleged moon landings took place over 35 years ago.

Look, I'm not asking for a daily Earth-Moon express. All I'm asking for is some more nations/people to land on the moon, take pictures and gather rocks and return home so we can all enjoy it. Nope. It's still just NASA. And they can't even keep their Shuttles safe on measly low-orbital flights. Yet 35 years ago, NASA could land and return several moon missions without a single fatality.

Okay, Gus Grissom and two others died in a blaze in Apollo 1 but they never left the launch pad so they don't really count for the actual moon landings.

Rhinegold (1978)
0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A femme fatale's final journey, 1 April 2006

"The legendary Rheingold-Express (Rhine Gold) was a famous train riding between Hoek van Holland near Rotterdam and Basel, Switzerland, a distance of 662 km. It drove along the Rhine River via Arnhem, Netherlands and Cologne, Germany had special luxury coaches. It was named after Richard Wagner's Das Rheingold opera, which romanticized the Rhine (from wikipedia)."

This film is as much the sad tale of a fatal love affair as it is a very effective feature-length commercial of the Rheingold train and the romantic German landscape of castles and rocky hills near the banks of the Rhine river.

Elisabeth is a rich woman in her late thirties. Since Elisabeth has traveled on more occasions with the Rheingold, one day she recognized her former sweetheart from elementary school, now working as an attendant aboard the train. Unhappy with her marriage, Elisabeth started an affair with the attendant.

At the start of the film, Elisabeth is breaking up with her husband. Lost for words, her husbands stabs her in a fit of rage with the letter opener Elisabeth just gave him as a farewell present. The husband flees from the train, leaving Elisabeth unhurt or so it seems.

Shortly after the train has started its voyage, she finds out she has a wound in her abdominal section. Instead of alerting attendants and ask for emergency assistance, Elisabeth acts as if nothing has happened. When she meets with her lover, the attendant, she tells him of her breaking up with her husband, at which her lover says he's very happy.

As the train progresses on its journey through the romantic German Rhine landscape, Elisabeth has flash-backs as she remembers happier days with her husband, meeting up with her old childhood love and a memorable scene when both her lover and she were still kids. Possibly the other flash-back scenes that don't involve the Rheingold train were shot in the direct vicinity of the train route. If that's the case then the movie also doubles for a rather effective commercial for Rhine tourism. That said, all of the photography is of remarkable quality and the direction is also second to none.

The director maximizes his efforts by having the husband, filled with remorse, charter a taxi cab and order the chauffeur to chase the Rheingold! This was way before computer editing so the scenes are very effective and shows the director's great skill: in one scene, in a continuous shot, the husband is arguing with the cab-driver as they are driving through Germany. The driver turns his head to the left, points to the train that has appeared in view and says, "there she is!" Just bear in mind how much organizational skills and plain talent a director needs to complete such a shot either in one take or with extreme patience in multiple takes, until he ends up with the perfect, continuous shot. After a failed take, they would have to wait for the next train (with the characteristics of the Rheingold) to appear in view.

As the train gets closer to its destination, Elisabeth's wound keeps getting worse while none of the other passengers in her cabin noticing anything strange. They are much too caught up in their own life and musings to see that anything's the matter with Elisabeth. It is the last passenger she meets, after having changed cabins, who remarks she is looking rather pale and not at all well.

The viewer will wonder why Elisabeth never alerted anyone to her critical condition but then if she had, this beautiful film would never have been made.

"Operation of the Rheingold TEE (Trans Europe Express) ended on May 30, 1987 after 59 years and 15 days. The TEE 14 was pulled by a BR 103 (wikipedia)."

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
This game deprived me of sleep, 27 January 2006

This game has seriously deprived me of much needed sleep this past week since playing it for the first time.

What can I say? There's so much depth and different variables in each mission alone, there are more than enough missions to satisfy the most hungry tactical-shooter fan.

When you've successfully completed a mission for the first time, you'll want to go back and try different methods, approaches to get a higher score (=more stealth and less violence), the ultimate score being that of Silent Assassin where basically nobody sees you and you only kill your designated target with one bullet or stab (or strangle).

Another old game that I've been a fan of is Ghost Recon, a tactical shooter with many simulation elements. The thing is, to survive in "Hitman 2" you can use the approach of methodically killing every baddie in sight. This can also be fun to relieve stress and frustration of repeatedly failing a mission.

For a 2002 game, the graphics are still beautiful and a pleasure to behold, in combination with the excellent atmospheric music (with strong Star Wars influences in some places) these elements make a fantastic game for the lovers of tactical shooters.

Regular FPS 'run and gun' players steer well away. This game needs brains and not just in the blown-out variant.

10 out of 10 with a subtraction of 1 for stupid ethnic stereotyping in *some* missions. So in all 9 out of 10 but still I can't stop playing it!

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
A great, true swashbuckling adventure!, 5 November 2005

This movie was everything a great pirate movie should be, and more! Instead of adding more praise and point out some flaws, which previous reviewers have already done, I will say this: Johnny Depp may be the coolest character that sweeps you away but Geoffrey Rush is actually the better pirate.

You will realize this during the scene where Barbosa points exactly the same out to Sparrow. The bottom line: Sparrow has a heart and cares about doing the right thing while Barbosa is one evil son of a b*** who'd sell his own mother if it would make him a profit.

Oh, and the true star of this movie, of course: The Pirates! I felt so sorry for them in the end. But looking at the sequel currently in production and seeing the names of supporting cast, perhaps I have nothing to worry about.

10 out of 26 people found the following review useful:
Rumsfeld and Kissinger are real fun guys!, 27 July 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

* * * CAUTION the following comment may or may not contain SPOILERS * * *

Hahaha, never thought the man responsible for tens of thousands of dead Iraqi civilians (oops, collateral damage) could be so charming when being interviewed.

It's amazing that such a busy man as Rumsfeld could find the time to cooperate in this documentary.

Another person who seems so much more human after viewing this product, is of course Henry Kissinger.

Then there's some more big wigs who graciously gave their full support to this humorist documentary. Among them: Buzz Aldrin, Alexander Haig and Stanley Kubrick's widow.

I never heard of this documentary maker before but he must be reallyreally famous: why else would all these powerful and famous people willingly give their sparse free time to make this product the thing it has become?

1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
A satirical look at American society?, 25 June 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***




The movie I have seen a long time ago was titled "Salute of the Jugger." The ending is markedly different than that from "Blood of the heroes." In the longer movie, "Salute of the Jugger," the fate of the character played by Hauer can be seen some time after their victory. His luck has changed little. Joan Chen's character was lucky to be adopted by the elite underground society. Hauer's character can only do what he does best: continue playing the Jugger game for as long as he is fit but without hope of being adopted himself.

That is the bitter sweet ending of "Salute of the Jugger." Perhaps this movie is a satirical view on American society; there is the dream of achieving success and being among the rich elite. In reality only a handful of entertainers (singers, sportsmen, actors) get to enter the wealthy elite society. The movie portrays the American Dream: even the lowliest people can become rich and elite themselves if they fight long and hard enough AND if they are lucky enough...

Joan Chen's character in this movie is one of the lucky few. Hauer's character, despite having won the final game twice, will never be allowed into high society though.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Decent movie, 1 February 2005

Leelee Sobieski is well cast as Joan of Arc, or Jeanne d'Arc in French. She probably doesn't look much like the historical Joan, because the real Joan was probably a stocky farm girl tomboy who would not shy away from a fight. Sobieski looks more like an angel, but no complaints here. Her performance give a realistic portrayal of a young girl who is destined to lead the French into battle.

Now there is something that struck me as an anachronism. All this talk about "France" and "nation," when true nation-states didn't come into existence until the advent of railways, telegraph and newspapers. Of course, many a historic tale/event has been misused for nationalists to push their agenda. In this case, the French nationalists pose no harm, so no harm done. I can imagine that the people in those days did want to have their own French king back and the English out of France.

On the other hand, weren't the Burgundians French too?

The combat scenes looked great, I wouldn't have minded to see a few more. I watched both the original and the cut-down version, and the cut-down version isn't any worse. Some minor scenes about her early youth are skipped over, which helps tighten the overall movie.

WarGames (1983)
2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Great, entertaining Cold War era movie!, 25 January 2005

Just some points that stick out: The missile men in the beginning sequence are talking about really good pot. Later on in the movie, the protagonist stumbles upon the tape recorder of a military medical doctor, who has diagnosed a patient with smoking pot. While this may seem like lefties trying to put a slur on the USA's beloved military, in reality it has at least once occurred that missile men were actually caught high on grass during their work shift (manning the ICBM control bunker...).

As the tension rises and nuclear war seems to become a reality, we see the general threat indicator in the NORAD control center switch from DEFCON 4 to DEFCON 3, next to a portrait of smiling President Reagan! To DEFCON 3 with Ronald Reagan, all the way! Excellent little black comedy. A worthy tribute to "Dr. Strangelove: or how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb."

0 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Pathetic 2, 25 January 2005

After reading Thunderpuppy's review of this movie, I can only say this: I agree 100 percent.

From the moment the gang in this movie begins their heist, the camera work is appallingly bad. Since the first shots are from a surveillance camera, this could be excused. But really, this type of quality is pretty much the same for both acting, script and direction in the rest of the movie.

My take on this production: perhaps some film-student thought it cool to 'redo' Tarantino and let his buds star. To make it worse, he had a hot girlfriend also who couldn't act to save her life. But, she looked hot, so...

The interesting characters: a (gay?) mastermind who gets no respect from the rest of the gang. This could have worked. Sadly, the director and scriptwriter had other ideas. The other interesting character: bad cop. This could have worked. Sadly...

Watch this movie when you're real drunk with a couple of friends who are also drunk. It is in such circumstances that the sheer awfulness of this movie becomes sort of funny. No, not really, but it passes time and you will have learned one thing after having watched this: few movies can be as bad as this one.

P.S. (edit) Only after having watched this monstrosity, did I watch "Reservoir Dogs" in its entirety. "Fish i/a Barrel" does make one realize how much of a GENIUS Quentin Tarantino truly is.

Quentin Tarantino: genius.

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